Mr. President, I rise today in strong support of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act that is before the Senate today. I thank Senator Corker and Senator Cardin for their incredible work bringing people together on the Foreign Relations Committee. 

I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill as written. We must move forward to pass this legislation as quickly as possible to ensure that Congress has a role in reviewing any proposed nuclear agreement with Iran. 

This is a critically important bill at a critically important time. Preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is one of the most important objectives of our national security policy, and I strongly supported the sanctions every step of the way that brought Iran to the negotiating table. 

I have also supported the diplomatic efforts to address the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. The framework that was reached in Switzerland earlier this month is a positive step forward, but I think we all know that this process is far from complete. 

There are so many unanswered questions on the military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, on how its uranium stockpile would be handled, under what circumstances any sanctions relief would be provided, and the timing of that relief. 

It is clear that there are still differences between Iran and the rest of the international community on these issues. I believe it is important that negotiations continue to pursue a final agreement by June 30 that comprehensively addresses the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. Again, one of the most important objectives of the U.S. national security policy is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. 

The bipartisan legislation before us today will set up a process for Congress to review any final nuclear agreement with Iran. It ensures that Congress, which through its actions brought Iran to the table, will have access to all the final details of the agreement. It preserves our right to have a final say in the potential lifting of the sanctions that we led on. That is how we were involved in compelling Iran to negotiate in terms of these sanctions. 

Senators CORKER and CARDIN worked so hard to strike a careful balance between the Executive's prerogative to pursue the negotiations and Congress's role in reviewing any nuclear agreement. Their negotiations were a success, as I said. The bill passed the Foreign Relations Committee unanimously, 19 to 0, 2 weeks ago. That is a committee with a number of Senators with a broad range of views on every issue, including foreign relations and including these negotiations. 

The President, who had long threatened to veto any such bill, has agreed to sign it. This is a significant victory for the Senate and also for congressional oversight of foreign policy, something many of us have been pushing for. 

Any nuclear agreement with Iran will have significant long-term implications for the United States, for Israel, and for our allies in the region. So it is critical that Congress have the opportunity to review it. 

This bill ensures that we have that opportunity. That is why it is so important that we act now to pass this legislation without delay and without amendments that undercut the bipartisan agreement on this bill. 

Right now, I understand there are negotiations over a number of amendments that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to offer. I think we know that a number of these amendments appear to be written in a way that would undermine the bipartisan support for the bill or would somehow make this bill much more difficult in terms of having a process. 

All this bill is, from my mind, is a process to review. Instead of having a haphazard process, this actually gives Congress something for which we have been asking for a long time. It has given us that ability to review this agreement and have a vote on it. I don't know how many times I have heard my colleagues from the other side of the aisle talk about it--and my colleagues on this side of the aisle. We finally have a bipartisan way to do it. So I think we need to be very careful when moving 
forward and look at some of these amendments. 

I certainly share my colleagues' deep mistrust and skepticism of the Iranian regime. I am appalled by the continuing human rights abuses, the unjustified detention of American citizens--everyone, from the Washington Post reporter to a former marine to a Christian pastor. I abhor the vicious threats we are hearing against Israel and against Israeli leaders, the track record supporting anti-Semitism and the Holocaust denial. I am deeply concerned about the destabilizing actions in the region, including 
Iran's efforts to obtain more advanced missiles, and the support for militant forces and terrorists. 

I think we all know the issues that are going on here. It is incredibly important that we work to address these issues, but there must be a recognition of the fact that what we are talking about here is a nuclear agreement. I think every Senator is going to want to look at that agreement and say: Does this make things safer or not? What effect does this have on Israel? Is it safer to have Iran have nuclear capabilities when they have shown the propensity to do all of these other things that I have just mentioned? I think many of us come down on the side that we want to see this agreement but we are pleased these negotiations are going on. We are particularly thankful that Senator Corker and Senator Cardin were able to come to an agreement on a process and to get that agreement through a highly diverse committee in terms of their political views and to get that agreement through on a 19-to-0 vote. 

Also, I might add that we don't want to revive the threat of a Presidential veto here. I know many of these amendments sound appealing to many of us but not if they are going to be used as a way to bring down this process, the review agreement, and that is essentially what would happen. 

We do not want to be damaging our own ability to ensure that sanctions relief will only come from a strong agreement that prevents Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. I would think that outcome would certainly be fine with the Iranians, if that is what happens. As our Republican colleague from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, pointed out recently, ``Anybody who offers an amendment that will break this agreement apart ..... the beneficiary will be the Iranians.'' 

So let's not give the Iranians a victory. Let's pass this bill on a strong bipartisan vote, and let's do it now so it is clear that Congress stands united and we want the ability to review this agreement. Our foreign policy is more effective when we speak with one voice. It may be simplistic to say that politics should stop at the water's edge, but when it comes to Iran, the fact is, we have been unified. The past three votes in favor of major sanctions legislation in 2010, 2011, and 2012 have been unanimous--99 to 0, 100 to 0, and 94 to 0 respectively. And now the Iranians are at the table negotiating a nuclear agreement. That is because we stood together across party lines. 

We have stood together and been strong and unified as a country. The time has come to show we are serious again--serious about ensuring that a final agreement is strong and enforceable and, most importantly, blocks Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. We may not agree on everything, but we must certainly agree on something that so many of us have been talking about--a role for the Congress, a role for the Senate in having a say over this agreement. That is all this bill is about. Passing this 
bill will show our commitment to our country's security and the security of our allies and our partners. It transcends partisan politics, and that is something that, when it comes to foreign relations and when it comes to dealing with a country such as Iran, must stop at the water's edge. 

I thank our colleagues, Senator Corker and Senator Cardin, for working so hard to negotiate this agreement--simply a process of review--so that we can finally have a say, and I ask my colleagues to support this. 

Mr. President, I yield the floor. 

I suggest the absence of a quorum.